G. L. I think it was Simon Frith that told me this, that when he was working with Melody Maker the editor's idea of the ideal very loyal reader was somebody (male) who stayed in a town just outside Middlesbrough who didn't have a girlfriend. This was what they looked forward to every single week, this was the highlight of their week - reading Melody Maker or NME. Most of the provinces, and the towns that surround the provinces, things like the music they take a hold. Punk was still strong for a long time up here. Acid house was still very strong up here. The Scottish hardcore scene, the happy hardcore scene, it is basically acid house what 'oi' was to punk - it's that kind of boom boom boom all the time. It's just taking the basic elements. Things like that do stick longer in the provinces. We rely more on this. We don't have the same input from friends and all that to change us. My friends who I talk with about records are very good but there's not an awful lot. It's not a matter of somebody saying 'Have you heard this great new record?' and all that sort of stuff. That doesn't happen all the time. It happens with my good friends fairly regularly but then again I'm getting the same sources as they are - through the radio, through the papers, whatever. It's not a case of people I know going to clubs and saying 'I heard this great tune at a club blah blah blah'. Again the money thing came into it. You didn't have the money to go out and see too many bands. You can also tie that in to a love of the journalists from the music press at that time. The stalwarts - the Nick Kents, the Charles Shaar Murrays, the people who came in with punk, particularly Tony Parsons, Julie Burchill and Paul Morley - a 'Manchester' man, still a big hero of mine. He could have done anything. I once sent stuff off to NME where I reviewed a couple of records. It didn't get printed. It was probably rubbish. That was just after my mother died.
Gordon Legge in conversation with Steve Redhead